Horses for courses ……..

Horses for courses …..

We have already reached the midpoint of the baseball season and there have been one or two surprises along the way. Some very good pitching performances, exclaimed by three no-hitters and the less than threatening offenses of a number of teams . Add in the fact, the same old stories seem to be repeating themselves by way of the Houston Astros and I am beginning to wonder if this season is likely to be anything special at all !

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Slideshow .

The Astros, alongside the Philadelphia Phillies , now have to the two worst records in all of baseball and there has been little to suggest that the teams in question have the acumen to solve their on and off the field woes. Ryne Sandberg who succeeded Charlie Manuel to become the Phillies’ fifty-second manager in the franchise’s history , has inherited an aging roster of stars who now seem to be past their sell by date. To say the very least Philadelphia and the coaching staff have their work cut out for them over the remainder of their season. With several of the players on the team’s roster among the highest paid players in the league, it is hard to imagine where the organization will seek to go from here, but there now seems to an opinion, a long overdue “fire sale” is likely to place, with several of the players being jettisoned in order for some of the younger players being called up from within their farm system. Sandberg succeeded Charlie Manuel as the Phillies’ manager , but in the aftermath of the team’s failure in 2013 , it was clear that the front office and GM Reuben Amaro Jr had to make a change at the managerial level. A great deal of the blame does lie with Amaro and his failure in seeking to bolster the Phillies’ roster over the past five years.

Having won the World Series in 2008 with a lopsided series’ victory over the Tampa Bay Rays ,the Phillies’ fortunes in the later years can be best described as a ball-club repeatedly under-achieving. . Coming off a 6-2 drubbing from instate rivals the Pittsburgh Pirates , Ryne Sandberg will not take his players on the road as they face the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Ballpark , in Milwaukee , Wisconsin,. As losers of nine of their last ten games, it is easy to understand why the Philadelphia Phillies have been so woefully inept. The issues on this team covers just about every facet of their game , from top to bottom ., including the lack of leadership coming from the managerial staff , much less the seasoned veterans on the team.

We have often been told the NFC East remains the best division in the NFL and the same claims are continually being made about the AL East . That is not something as a baseball fan, I am ready to I subscribe to ! Granted, there are some very good teams within the division and the very fact Derek Jeter enters his final season with the New York Yankees makes the expectations within the division and for the Yankees that much greater.The Yankees for their part have been inconsistent with their being few bright spots on the team during the season, but what cannot be denied has been the outstanding performances of their rookie pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka during this season. . The pitcher has all but blown the hinges off the door leaving batters bewildered on his way to a league leading result in wins among rookie pitchers and starters in general. If that were not enough he just might be the best pitcher on the Yankees’ starting roster and that is with due deference to Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia , who now seem to spluttering through their schedule.

Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees are a mere 3 ½ games out of first place within the AL East, in a division led by what appears to be a steadfast Toronto Blue Jays’ team, the equally resilient Baltimore Orioles , to be followed by the third placed Yankees and rounding out the quintet of teams, are the Boston Red Sox and the last placed Tampa Bay Rays.. Jeter and the Yankees , coming off a hard-fought 9-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins , will have to remain consistent if they are to have any chance of winning the division much less guaranteeing themselves one of the two wildcard berths available within the AL.. . Monday , the Yankees will be pitted against the Cleveland Indians as they take to the field, with Shane Greene on the mound for New York against Cleveland’s Justin Masterson in a game to played at Progressive Field in Cleveland , Ohio,.

While many of us wish Derek Jeter all the best, as he winds down an astonishing career , it is my belief that he and the New York Yankees are unlikely to win the World Series , garnering him a sixth World Series’ ring. The Yankees are good but they lack the “killer instinct” of teams from the past and Joe Girardi , in spite of his managerial experience seem to be lacking the resolve in getting his players to buy into his managerial philosophy for this season..

Two-hundred million dollars can buy you many things , but in the world of baseball , it has been unable to garner the Los Angeles Dodgers a World Series title in either 2012 or 2013 . It is pretty much safe to say, managing partner , Magic Johnson might now be feeling a little peeved to see his team having squandered the chances offered them in the last two years. It seems like an eternity since the Dodgers made an appearance in the World Series ,but in 1988 , was the last time the ball-club tasted success in calling themselves world champions. This season is proving just as difficult for Don Mattingly and his team as they see the resurgence of the San Francisco Giants within the NL West , as the league’s highest payroll team struggles to find an identity and prove themselves to be one of the best teams in all of baseball.

A half game may well now separate the Dodgers and Giants at the top of the division with San Francisco having played two games less than their divisional rivals over the course of season , so far. Yet, based on what we have seen , is there anyone truly convinced that the Dodgers are indeed the equal of the recent two-time winning World Series’ champions? These two teams possess the pitching staffs to a great deal of damage within the NL as well as the rest of baseball, but consistency will be the key for both as they set to contend for the NL West divisional crown.

Los Angeles took care of the Colorado Rockies with relative ease in an 8-2 win in a game played at Coors Field on Sunday evening , while the Giants made light work of the San Diego Padres in their 5-3 victory in an away game on the same day . The Dodgers and in particular Don Mattingly and his managerial staff are under a great deal of pressure to succeed. Winning the World Series remains the priority of one baseball’s most revered organizations and the chase for that elusive crown. Two of this season’s three no-hitters were achieved by Dodgers’ pitchers Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw , two of the team’s best pitchers on a very impressive starting lineup.

Not really shocked, but there comes a time when you simply have to look at the work of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and ask the question how successful would he have been, were he afforded the luxury of having the resources of $200 million payroll ? Unfortunately , this remains a pipe-dream among the A’s and their fans because Lewis Wolff is not the type of owner to make such a lavish outlay while seeking success. At the same time, this gives us an eye on one of the many issues that still plagues the game of baseball and why neither, Bud Selig or MLB’s CFO Jonathan Mariner has any real idea how to create a level playing field, in terms of the financial fairness within the game and the teams’ payroll structure.

On Tuesday the Los Angeles Dodgers are the guests of the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit ,Michigan , when Hyun Jin-Ryu of the Dodgers takes to the mound against Justin Verlander in a crucial contest for both teams.

Not really shocked, but there comes a time when you simply have to look at the work Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and ask the question how successful would he have been, were he afforded the luxury of having the resources of a $200 million payroll ? Unfortunately , this remains a pipe-dream among the A’s and their fans because Lewis Wolff is not the type of owner to make such a lavish outlay while seeking success. At the same time, this gives an eye on one of the many issues that still plagues the game of baseball and why neither, Bud Selig or MLB’s CFO Jonathan Mariner has any real idea how to create a level playing field , in terms of the financial fairness within the game and the teams’ payroll structure.

Having the best record in baseball does not always equate with success at the end of the season when it comes to baseball’s postseason . At present the Oakland A’s have the privilege of being viewed as the best team in the game with their league leading fifty-six wins (56-33) as of the 7th July,2014. Oakland has simply been laying waste to their opponents all season long and their 5-0 clubbing of the San Francisco Giants was further evidence of how good this team just happens to be. Never mind the issue of the Giants being one of the best teams in the NL and having seventh best record in baseball with only the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels having a better record over their last twenty games.

A’s coach Bob Melvin and his managerial staff have given the players the momentum needed but it remains to be seen if the team will be able to take the lead and deliver the victories needed as they seek to win their first World Series’ title since 1989 when they triumphed over when they defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-0 . They would reach baseball’s postseason finale again in 1990 ,only to fall to the Cincinnati Reds in the seven game series in a whitewash.

Baseball’s mid-season showcase event , the MLB All Star Game is not that far off on the horizon and already fans and media analysts alike, are questioning those who were snubbed and those who made it onto the rosters of the AL and NL teams. In my opinion, with the voting being no more than a popularity contest , very little credence can really be given to the veracity of the claims, as who is fitting to become an All Star and who is not. Does anyone really want to see players from the two worst teams in baseball, being given what . is something of a dubious honor ? Can playing on the last placed team within the AL or NL really be a cause, upon which one can say that is a mark of success ? Therein lies the idiocy of the claims by baseball writers, fans and members of the league hierarchy, that every team should be given the honor of having player be a part of All Star roster.

Mike Trout may well be the best all-round player in the game today and he is certainly the player who many believe will be the face of baseball for years to come, and deemed the player most likely to succeed Derek Jeter as being the face of this game for next decade or more. Baseball needs a fresh influx young stars able to attract the fans after two decades of constant betrayal of the fans , with the never-ending cheating , lies , deceit, hypocrisy of the league hierarchy , owners , general managers , MLBPA (Players’ Union) and the general apathy of the fans willing to excuse the behavior of the steroid cheats that have made baseball such a joke !

MLB has long sought to paint itself as America’s pastime but it has not been the case for several decades and it has been the incompetence of the league, in addressing the most serious of issues, leading to the constant ridicule and lack of leadership at all levels within the game. Ryan Braun was welcomed back with open arms after the 2011 NL MVP remained in denial while being complicit in a web of deceit and lies that any asshole with an ounce of common sense, could have seen through. But for the incompetency of the league’s own testing protocols and that of the sheer stupidity of the laboratory who presided over Braun’s results , the player’s suspension would have been far more serious, rather than the slap on the wrist received. With the Milwaukee Brewers once again competitive within the NL Central , it will be interesting to see what might be made should Braun and the Brewers make the postseason and quite possibly winning the World Series, itself. Scorn or not, such a premise would lead to the game being once again questioned as to its veracity.

Fifty home runs in a season is something of a rarity but during the steroid era , that feat was something of a regular occurrence , with the likes of Mark McGwire , Sammy Sosa , Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds making a complete mockery of that particular record. This year we are unlikely to see the fifty home run mark surpassed but the siege on that particular mark always seems to be an interesting topic of debate as well as something of a spectacle to watch. Nelson Cruz, Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion and Giancarlo Stanton lead the way in baseball’s home run race this season , having just passed the halfway mark of the baseball schedule. Barry Bonds may well hold the single season home run mark, but in many respects in the eyes of the purists within the game , the mark they feel deserves recognition is the legendary statistic of Roger Maris’ of sixty-one home runs . I do not believe that anything else needs to be said concerning the matter !

Baseball’s mid-season showcase event , the MLB All Star Game is not that far off the horizon and already fans and media analysts alike are questioning those who were snubbed and those who made it onto the rosters of the AL and NL teams. In my opinion with the voting being no more than a popularity contest , very little credence can really be given to the veracity of the claims as who is fitting to become an All Star and who is not. Does anyone really want to see players from the two worst teams in baseball being given what is something of a dubious honor ? Can playing on the last placed team within the AL or NL really be a cause upon which one can say that is a mark of success ? Therein lies the idiocy of the claims by baseball writers, fans and members of the league hierarchy, that every team should be given the honor of having player be a part of All Star roster. The contests between the AL and NL in recent years have proven to be very entertaining with their being so much at stake for the winning league . Interest will certainly be peaked with this being the last All Star contest where Derek Jeter is a participant . How he bows out will be one of the highlights of the season , no matter the result.

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Picture gallery.

There remains a great deal to play for over the second half of the season, but for now, we have been intrigued to witness the stories that have unfolded at the midpoint of baseball’s schedule. What highlights have piqued your interest and which team or player has proven to be the most exciting to watch? On a final note, who do you believe will prove to be the biggest disappointment of the year among the ball-clubs and stars given their status at the start of the year? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thanks for the continued support as always !

:)

Picture and slideshow gallery below .
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(1) Houston Astros’ Chris Carter , left, is congratulated by Carlos Corporan (22) following Carter’s solo home off of Texas Rangers relief pitcher Aaron Poreda in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. The Astros would defeat the Rangers 8-3 in a rout . AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …

(2) Houston Astros starting pitcher Brad Peacock and first baseman Jon Singleton talk with manager Bo Porter (16) as Peacock is pulled in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …

(3) Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager Reuben Amaro Jr is seen here with team manager Ryne Sandberg ,who in his first year as the team’s manager has seen the Phillies do so poorly while struggling to remain competitive within the NL East and the NL in general . An aging roster and several highly paid players are the primary reasons for the poor results witnessed this season . All signs are pointing to the fact , Amaro will seek to revamp the roster during this upcoming off-season and the likelihood will be , he will seek to trade several players superfluous to the team’s needs while promoting younger members from within their farm system. AP Photo/ Martin Davis …

(4) New York Yankees Derek Jeter, left, bumps fists with Masahiro Tanaka during introduction ceremonies before the baseball game against the Houston Astros on day Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Houston. Tanaka enters his first season with the Yankees as team captain Jeter enters his twentieth and final season with the franchise . AP Photo/Pat Sullivan ….

(5) From left to right , Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly , senior partner Magic Johnson , Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees and Dodgers’ CEO and senior managing partner Mark Walter are seen here at Dodgers’ Ballpark in Los Angeles California prior to a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees in 2013. Rivera who retired in 2013 as all-time saves’ leader and a five-time World Series’ winner had a historic career with the Yankees’ franchise. He is likely to be a Hall of Fame candidate in Cooperstown , New York having met the eligibility requirements. Getty Images North America/ Greg Parsons …. .

(6) Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin ,left is seen here with general manager Billy Beane as the two talk with the convened press at the O Coliseum in Oakland, California . The A’s are off to another impressive start to the season and lead with the AL West, while heading into the All Star mid-season break. Both the manager and executive are hoping that the team can have an equally successive start to the second half of the season with the ultimate goal being an appearance and the capturing of a World Series’ crown for the fifth time in A’s history . AP Photo / Dave Wilson …

(7) Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is often seen in some circles as the best player in the game and the face of baseball for next decade. The player now at the forefront of an Angels’ offense that seems to be in control . AP Photo/ Kelly Richardson …

(8) Alex Rodriguez , left , of the New York Yankees and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers . The two players have become the “face ” of the steroid era over the past eight years. Each has faced a league mandated suspension, with the Yankees’ third baseman now sitting out the entire 2014 season after baseball’s hierarchy enforced their ban of the player for the year. Braun and Rodriguez have won four League MVP Awards over the course of their respective careers and are among the highest paid players on their respective teams ( Brewers and Yankees) . AP Photo / Harry Patterson ….

(9) Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins leads the NL in home runs this season but it remains to be seen whether or not he is likely to surpass the fifty home runs for the year . The Marlins are trying to supplant both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals atop of the NL East. AP Photo / Chris Mendez …..

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tophatal …………

Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com

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Something cheerful about a female shaking her assets .

About tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Work within corporate law for a law firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking.An , MBA graduate from the (LSE)and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate & muy-thai) & vowed sports fan & sports junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal
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38 Responses to Horses for courses ……..

  1. Ronbets says:

    Tophat,
    Tanaka’s ‘magic’ is wearing off the 2nd and 3rd time the league faces him. The regression to the mean is happening NOW.
    A future value play is the Houston Astros. The team is loaded with young upstarts and minor league affiliates are well stocked. I’ve reconsidered my assessment on Mgr BPorter. Oh no, he’s no Sparky Anderson, but he’s getting a clue. Now if the batting coach Malley can get these kids to reduce the rediculous amounts of K’s(Springer) they will continue to improve.

    Like

  2. Ronbets says:

    Stacey Dash’s look is telling us………….”Where you going? I’m not done yet!!”

    Like

  3. I do not remember a World Series champion playing so badly as they sought to defend their title ! The Boston Red Sox have been horrendous all season long . Their all-round game has been a major disappointment . Too many players on the roster are now past their sell by date , specifically Lackey , Pierzinski and a slew of others too numerous to mention . GM Ben Cherington will need to blow up the roster and start afresh with younger talent from their farm system while seeking productive free agents this off-season .

    :)

    Ben Cherington GM of the Boston Red Sox .

    tophatal ………………..

    Like

  4. Ronbets says:

    Tophat,
    The NYY put Tanaka on the DL for right elbow inflammation. He’s been worked hard. Might explain his recent lapses. The Red Sox youth isn’t performing up to par. The Japanese closer Uethara has been good.

    Like

  5. Ronbets says:

    Tophat,
    Picture #7 shows the greatest player in today’s game…….MTROUT. He distances Cabrera regardless of slanted MVP Awards.

    If you’re interested I can get Wendy Williams tix out here at the Venetian. Or perhaps you’d just like her autograph. LOL

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wendy-williams-reveals-tortured-childhood/story?id=24474267

    Like

  6. Ronbets

    Just as Ken Griffey Jr dominated the game at the height of his era. I firmly believe that Mike Trout now dominates baseball at this period in time . Miguel Cabera may well be a two-time AL MVP and he is deserving of that accolade , but it is my firm belief that his Los Angeles’ counterpart will obtain a World Series’ ring before the Tigers’ slugger is able to achieve that feat with his team !

    Ken Griffey Jr , perhaps the most dominant player of his generation ?

    Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera (left)

    See the link to this story concerning the two sluggers .

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera decline invitations to Home Run Derby

    By Mike Axisa , Baseball Writer

    Both Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera have decided to decline invitations to the Home Run Derby, according to Matthew DeFranks of MLB.com and Tony Paul of the Detroit News.

    “I just want to be able to go and enjoy it. I always had fun watching it, growing up as a kid watching it on TV, and being able to sit on the sidelines is pretty cool,” said Trout to DeFranks while Cabrera told Paul he doesn’t “want to mess with my swing anymore. I’ve got enough issues.”

    Trout, 22, is hitting .308/.402/.603 with 20 home runs this year while the 31-year-old Cabrera is hitting .308/.367/.535 with 14 home runs. They rank fifth and 16th in the league in homers, respectively.

    So far the only confirmed Home Run Derby participants are captains Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki, and Giancarlo Stanton. Nelson Cruz has been invited but indicated he is likely to decline.

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    Without the duo the Home Run Derby is likely to be something of a farce , don’t you think ?

    Inasmuch, as I believe Wendy Williams has her admirable pair of assets , I think deep down, she’s able to scare the hell out of a number of males , because of her physical stature beyond her tits !

    ‘How you doin’ ‘ ?

    You just can’t go wrong with Wendy Fiore ! Your thoughts on that ?

    tophatal ……………

    Like

  7. All Star snubs and the Marlins may well have a valid case concerning their third baseman’s Casey McGehee and his being left off the NL roster having led all third basemen in terms of batting average and several other offensive categories within the National League this season .

    McGehee or Carpenter (below) ?

    Comparing their stats side (Carpenter) by side (McGehee)

    Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny went instead with his own player Matt Carpenter , where the Cardinals’ third baseman’s statistics are markedly lower than McGehee’s this season .

    tophatal ………………

    Like

    • Ronbets says:

      Matheny has to live with his man all season. It’s the instinctive thing to do. I think you or I might have done the same thing.

      Like

      • Ronbets

        Mike Matheny may well have felt he did the right thing , but in all honesty , I believe that Casey McGhee was more deserving simply based upon his play alone ! His stats are better than those of Matt Carpenter this season . Herein lies the idiocy of the All Star voting to begin with . It should not be left in the hands of the fans because it merely becomes a popularity contest more than anything else . Also , I believe that a manager should not be allowed to place more than two players from off his own team roster unto the actual squad for the game itself ! At the same time, is it really worthwhile to have a player from the worst teams within each league playing during that MLB mid-season showcase event ?

        tophatal ………………….

        Like

  8. Through the first half of the season it is hard to say who ought to be the leading contenders within the AL and NL for the League MVP . The same could be said, in terms of the leading candidates for Cy Young Award within both of the leagues in question .

    And for the Rookie Awards for both leagues , I would say one could base that upon what we have witnessed by the players and their play overall . i

    tophatal …………..

    Like

  9. Ronbets says:

    Tophat,
    Let;s just hope that nauseating Chris Berman comes down with laryngitis and we don’t have to hear “back back back”. The schmuck has no style of his own. He’s simply mimicking legend broadcaster of the past. Home Run Derby has just about run it’s course. ESPN tried to emulate the old original version, but the current product doesn’t cut it.
    Post season failures led Billy Beane to issue this barb, “My shit doesn’t win in the post season.”
    Oh, the most important aspect here is the women. lol. No doubt Wendy F starts over WW, but they both made the team. Stacey leads off followed by WF, WW and cleanup is Tiffany.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronbets

      I know that the All Star festivities in baseball might be about the best in all four of the major professional team sports . Yet , when it comes to the Home Run Derby , if we do not have best home run hitters during that contest , it becomes devalued altogether .

      Chris Berman remains a self-absorbed pompous @sshole ! His schtick has become one-dimensional , much like the coverage of the ESPN’s sports content in general . Their coverage of the World Cup has become so banal , because the home grown talent simply doesn’t know enough about the game of soccer to provide a worthwhile insight concerning what is happening on the field, much less with regard to their post-game analysis .

      “Sexual assaults on college campuses are not tolerated Senator , because the victims more often than not are simply partying like porn stars . I have it on good authority, that 70 % of these allegations are in fact consensual acts ” . NCAA President Mark Emmert

      Did you by any chance catch the news and NCAA President Mark Emmmert’s questioning by Senator Claire McCaskill of the Senate Commerce Committee , as she asked him what the institution was actually doing with regard to the increase in sexual assaults now taking place on college campuses across the country ? The estimations are that almost 70% of sexual assaults go unreported , with the victims often females, too embarrassed to tell their stories to the authorities (campus police) , because more often than not, they are again humiliated by the college with their often being allegations , they were either sexually promiscuous or led their assailant on .

      It would appear that the NCAA has learned not a goddamn thing in the aftermath of what took place at Penn State and other educational establishments around the country . Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston still remains a person of interest in the alleged rape of a female co-ed on the campus of FSU in Tallahassee, Florida . There was a major coverup by the Tallahassee Police Department , of which the Police Chief Michael DeLeo has denied . But this is not the first time, in which a Seminole athlete has been a major suspect in a sexual assault over the past 2 1/2 years . There have been as many as eight other cases , with the law enforcement officials have said there was not enough evidence to proceed with a charge against a suspect .

      She’s (Wendy Fiore) nothing like Wendy from J M Barrie’s Peter Pan

      Wendy Fiore , Tiffany Towers and Stacey Dash can ride my joystick anytime they so wish . I am not averse to being sexually feasted upon by a buxom female ! It’s how I roll ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!


      Stacey just makes you want to do something nasty . real nasty .

      tophatal ……………….

      Like

    • Ronbets

      Billy Beane will only be afforded what the A’s front office believe they can spend in order to deliver a winning product on the field of play.

      Beane as part-owner of the franchise in conjunction with Michael Crowley and Lew Wolff cannot afford splurge $80 million to $100 million to compete with the likes of the Dodgers , Angels , Yankees and Red Sox from an economic aspect . While they (A’s) have had considerable regular season success over the past five years , it has been in the postseason where they continue to fall short .

      :)

      Tiffany-Powers/

      Say hello to Tiffany’s big guns .

      tophatal ……………….

      Like

  10. Ronbets

    If LeBron does decide to pull the plug and leave Miami , then no one can blame Yoko Ono for the breakup of the Big Three (The Band) . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    ” This LeBron James , is he a recording artist ” ?

    Yoko Ono

    tophatal …………

    Like

    • Ronbets says:

      Putting that picture of a scaggy heroin addict on the same blog as these other beautiful gals is a disservice to the female gender. How John Lennon was banging this beast is beyond comprehension………..unless was just as stoned as her. On that cold Monday night in December 1980, I gotta believe that the assassin missed his target.

      Like

      • Ronbets

        Mark David Chapman was doing that to prove his undying love ? and devotion for actress Jodie Foster . I was shocked when I heard then read of the news of Lennon’s death , just as I was on the day, Marvin Gaye died ! Tragedies such as these of profound artists who die before their time tend to resonate more than anything else .

        Speaking of losses in the music world , another legend recently passed with the death of Bobby Womack who was so influential , especially concerning with the Rolling Stones who covered ‘It’s All Over Now ‘ written by Womack . .

        “It’s All Over Now ” written by Bobby & Shirley Womack performed here by the Rolling Stones .

        This was real classic from my youth “Across 110th ” Street by Womack .

        Another Bobby Womack classic , If You Think You’re Lonely Now ”

        The Beatles were already having problems before Yoko Ono was ever on the scene, as the relationship between Lennon and McCartney was often volatile . It was something that Paul McCartney often alluded to , but yet , it provided them much of the creative juice to pen ‘ so many ‘classic pieces’ , that have stood the test of time.

        tophatal …………

        Like

      • Ronbets

        Your thoughts on the possible breaking up of ‘The Band’ (Heat’s Big Three) after four consecutive appearances and only two wins of the NBA title ? Does it have more to do with LeBron James’ disappointment and embarrassment that the Miami Heat haven’t won as many titles as he had hoped for and predicted , when he Bosh and Wade joined forces ? Or is it more signs of sheer immaturity and selfishness on his part? I believe it to be a little of both, as he greatly wants to prove himself the equal of if not superior to Michael Jordan . Something , no modern-day player will ever come close to achieving .

        LBJ , you are now blowing smoke up everyone’s @ss you dumb mother-%%$cker ! How quickly do some forget, especially the anal retentive @ss kissing fans out there without any goddamn common sense to begin with .

        Do you believe that James’ having opted out of his contract will return to Miami or simply move on elsewhere ? Heat President Pat Riley has suggested all three (Bosh , James and Wade) have unfinished business that needs their urgent attention . LeBron seeks a max contract (six years and close to $126 million ), something that the Heat could do but it would severely restrict (cap this upcoming season $68 million) their chances of then resigning both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade , having already made other significant off-season moves with the recent acquisition of Danny Granger and others .

        Personally. I believe LeBron James should remain in Miami , rather than going elsewhere , because leaving would in effect tarnish his legacy , with many now questioning his heart and lack of real grit. A return to Cleveland and still at best the Cavaliers would only be perhaps the second or third best team in the East , but still having wing to contend with Western Conference that remains far superior to their Eastern rivals , something that those who claim to know something about the NBA come across as being complete buffoons and morons in terms of their analysis of the situation .

        tophatal …..

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  11. Over the past eighteen months , if not more there has been no better pitcher in baseball than the Dodgers’ starting ace Clayton Kershaw . Anyone care to counter that claim ?

    The pitcher’s stats this and last season . Coming into yesterday, Kershaw had pitched forty-one scoreless innings before allowing a run to be scored against him .

    Courtesy of the LA Times

    Clayton Kershaw’s streak ends, but one-run gem still earns Dodgers win

    Forty-one inning after his scoreless streak began , Clayton Kershaw circled behind the mound, rubbed a new baseball, adjusted his pants and then brushed off the rubber.

    Moments earlier, he was facing San Diego’s Chase Headley. There were two outs in the sixth inning, and the Dodgers led 1-0. The count was 1-2.

    For 27 days and slightly more than one hour, Kershaw hadn’t allowed a run to score. On his broadcast Thursday night, Vin Scully compared each flawless inning to a pearl in an ever-expanding necklace.

    Kershaw tried an 88-mph slider, thigh-high, over the plate. The ball found Headley’s barrel. Dodgers center fielder Scott Van Slyke gave chase, but he ran out of space. The ball landed just over a Hyundai sign in left-center field.

    The streak officially ends at 41 innings — Major League Baseball does not count fractions of an inning.

    According to Elias Sports Bureau, Kershaw tied Luis Tiant for the fifth-longest streak in the expansion era, behind Dodgers Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale as well as Bob Gibson and Brandon Webb.

    The rare run allowed meant that, against impressive rookie right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne, the Dodgers needed more than one run for a change. It didn’t take long.

    In the bottom half of the sixth, Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly scored Hanley Ramirez to put the Dodgers ahead of the Padres, 2-1.

    Earlier, Van Slyke had flared a single to score Yasiel Puig in the fourth and give the Dodgers the lead.

    Kershaw gave up only one more hit over the final three innings of the game. He pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts and three hits.

    ikes to start the game Thursday.

    ===========================================
    Click on link to read in full.
    ===========================================

    Is there anything else that now needs to be said after such a performance ?

    He is now the most dominant pitcher in baseball . (Clayton Kershaw)

    Kershaw has to be seen as an overwhelming favorite to repeat as the NL Cy Young Award winner for this season .

    NL and MLB players’ pitching stats

    tophatal …………………..

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  12. Ronbets says:

    Tophat,
    Here’s a hidden stat that seems unbelievable but true. Clayton Kershaw has had only one home run hit off of his curve ball in his mlb career. Happened earlier this year by a SFO rookie named Hicks.
    Lebron just paved the way for his legend to surpass Jordan. ‘All’ he needs to do now is lead the Cavs to an NBA title. Cleveland has been adjusted as the new favorite to take next years crown. A bit of an overreaction I believe. ESPN should be embarrassed being scooped and duped especially by “Mr. Source” Brussaird. All those they employ to get info and end up spewing nothing but bullsht to the viewers. Congrats S.I. The White House should take a lesson on how to NOT sprout leaks.
    ‘Melo ? Just keep it to yourself because NYK aren’t relevant.

    Like

  13. SportsChump says:

    I gotta tell ya’, Al, between the World Cup, the Rays sucking and everything going on this summer with NBA free agency, I really haven’t followed the first half of the baseball season all that closely.

    What is there to give me a reason to?

    Like

  14. How long does it take you to put these posts together? I’m always impressed at the amount of links that you manage to incorporate.
    Anyway, well since this, the Rangers now are in the cellar, and oh, how the mighty have fallen. It just goes to show what can happen to a franchise when it chooses to deal away prospects to get major pieces to try and win a title. There’s a balance that needs to be managed by a front office. Texas now, struggling through all the injuries, does not have the pitching depth and also the depth at 1B. They have really struggled and one should expect them to begin selling some pieces in the next week or two.

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  15. Tonight’s Home Run Derby Contest , what should we really be looking for ? This might the one event that could be truly exciting or simply one monotonous bore .

    ……….

    I prefer my boring instances to look something like this ! Do they come gift wrapped ?

    tophatal ………….

    Like

  16. Yoenis Cespedes and Giancarlo ‘Mike’ Stanton made the home run contest memorable but the final series became a downright bore . MLB has to have better players participating in the event or do away with it all together .

    tophatal …………..

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